Recently I was fortunate enough to meet one of my idols and a lady who has helped me turn my life around – Tess Munster. Growing up I was chronically bullied for being fat, queer and “different”. I hated my body so much and spent years hiding it away in baggy ill fitting clothes and avoiding the mirror. My self hatred spiraled out of control that I spent years self harming in various ways and not letting anybody see me (not even my mum) without my clothes on. I never thought that I would EVER feel better about myself until I came across Tess on Tumblr a few years ago. Suddenly, here was a woman who was saying “so what if you’re fat, you can also be beautiful” which was a complete revolution to me. I started getting into Tumblr more and began to be empowered by Tess and then she launched her #effyourbeautystandards movement and suddenly a community was born – a community of people who all just wanted to support and empower each other. Suddenly, I began to grow in confidence and grew and grew until I became the body positive/confident person I am today, and I thank Tess so much for being pretty much the main influence within this.
With all this in mind, when I found out she was coming to England and doing ONE meet and greet I knew I just had to go meet her, even if it meant travelling for over 10 hours in one day with sciatica and EDS.
Thankfully I wasn’t alone!
My lovely friend Zade went along with me, and we were also being filmed for a documentary which will be on TV next year so we had a lovely crew with us!
After 5 hours on the bus and a quick taxi ride across town, we finally made it to the Yours clothing shop. When we got there, we queued for around 10 minutes and I finally got to meet Tess!
I had decided to make her a flower crown which I gave her to break the ice as I was super nervous! My first thought was of how approachable she was! She gave me a huge hug and told me she recognized me from Instagram! We then proceeded to take all the selfies!
We had a chat and she thanked me for her crown and told me how much she loved sunflowers which was awesome. I also managed to tell her exactly how she’d changed my life, and I did tear up quite abit! Tess kindly held my hand and told me that this is why she pushes herself to get out of bed when she’s having low days herself – the thought of helping others which is exactly how I feel now I’ve amassed such a following online.
Tess is such a warm and friendly person and such an incredible role-model and I’m so proud that I got to meet her and get a million hugs!
I also managed to get into a photo with my other blogger babes and Tess! Here you can see my actual outfit which was –
Dress – Lady V London Hepburn (shortened and altered)
Coat – Primark
Wig – Geisha Wigs Precious Metal
Flower Crown – By me!
My hair/crown combo on the bus – I felt like a mermaid!
After the event I had to stick around and film some bits, and by the time I was finished I was starving, so me and Zade headed to Wagamama’s for a delicious meal and some serious people watching. After this we did laps of Birmingham town center, checked out the AMAZING Christmas market (complete with carousel) and listened to the best street band ever. After a few hours we stopped at Costa for a warm up and a little nibble of cake before we continued looking around the markets (which were huge). I was very restrained and only picked up some goodies from LUSH to use at my mums the next day as I was sleeping at hers and she has a bath and I only have a shower.
We had to catch our bus back at 7 so we found our pick up point and I decided to treat Zade to a cocktail in the poshest place ever because she had kindly carried my bag all day as I was very sore. Zade got a Raspberry daiquiri and I went for a Moscow Mule! The bar was literally steps from the bus stop so we managed to just sit and relax before the long 5 hour journey home.
I managed to arrive home close to 1AM and my mum had kindly stayed up and made me a snack as I was starving and I collapsed into bed after the longest day ever!
I was so glad of the bath goodies the next day as my sore joints needed the soak! The trip took it out of me but it was definitely worth it to see Tess! Hopefully next time she comes, she’ll pop up north…however I’d still travel to see her again. For me it was worth it to finally get to tell her how she had helped me, and close a chapter of self hatred in my life.